Sermon #3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons

 

††††††††† Title:††††††††† ††† A MAN FILLED WITH THE HOLY

GHOST FROM HIS MOTHERíS WOMB

††††††††† Text:††††††††††† Luke 1:13-17

††††††††† Subject:†††††† The Angelís Message to Zecharias

††††††††† Date:††††††††††† Sunday Evening - April 11, 1999

††††††††† Tape #†††††††† V-23a

††††††††† Readings:†††† Office: Ron Wood Auditorium: Bobbie Estes

††††††††† Introduction:

 

††††††††† The title of m message is - A MAN FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST FROM HIS MOTHERíS WOMB. You have my text before you in Luke 1:13-17. John the Baptist was a remarkable man, separated and distinguished from other men by the hand of God even before he was born.

 

In Luke 1:13-17 we are allowed to hear the message which the angel delivered to his father Zecharias, in the temple before he was born, before he was even conceived in his motherís womb. It is a message full of spiritual instruction. May God the Holy Spirit seal them to our hearts.

 

Luke 1:13-17"But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

 

Proposition: That which stands out most prominently in our text and the lessons it is intended to convey is the fact that Godís ways are not our ways.

 

††††††††† That fact should never surprise us. The Lord has shown us in his Word and by experienceÖ

 

Isaiah 55:9"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

 

It is yet trueÖ

 

God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform.

He plants His footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

 

I.     The first lesson in our text is a lesson about prayer. I hope we will all lay it to heart. godís answers to our prayers are often delayed for a long, long time.

 

††††††††† Sometimes, perhaps most often, the Lord graciously and wisely delays answering our prayers for many, many years. That certainly was the case with Zecharias and Elizabeth. No doubt, they had often prayed for the Lord to give them a child. It looked as though they had prayed in vain. Now, they were old people. The thought of having children had completely vanished from their minds. They had ceased long ago mentioning this matter to the Lord. Yet, the very first words that fell from the lips of the angel to this old man were theseÖ

 

Luke 1:13"But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John."

 

††††††††† There are several things which are obvious here. We ought to try to remember them.

 

A. We must never attempt to prescribe to our God how or when to do anything.

 

††††††††† He knows and does what is best, in the best way, and at the best time. He knows the best time for his people to be born; and he knows the best time for them t be born again.

 

B. We must never conclude that our prayers are not answered because they are not answered in the way or at the time we desire.

 

††††††††† Do not conclude that the Lord ignores your supplications because he does not immediately gratify your desires.

 

1.     Prayer has something to do with believing God; and the Lord often tries our faith in him by delaying our requests.

 

2.    Prayer has something to do with seeking and submitting to the will of God.

 

††††††††† Prayer is not simply bombarding God with our desires, be they ever so sincere. Prayer is seeking the will and glory of God, bowing our will to his will. Often, they Lord delays our requests, not because he does not intend to answer them; but because he is determined to make us willing for him not to answer them.

 

C. None of us know what to pray for as we ought.

 

††††††††† We do not now what is best for us, best for the glory of God, best for his kingdom, or best for the accomplishment of his purpose. Let us, therefore, wisely bow to his will.

 

Romans 8:26"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

 

Illustration: Paulís Thorn in the Flesh

 

II. Look at verse 14, and learn a second thing. Here is a lesson all parents should always bear in mind. grace must be the principle thing we seek for our sons and daughters.

 

Luke 1:1"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,"

 

††††††††† What a blessed word this is from God! Zecharias was assured, before his son was born, that his only son would be numbered among the sons of God!

 

Note: Let all those who are blessed of God with the burden of caring for children with limited mental capacity, or who have lost children in infancy be cheered with this fact. - God has granted you the rare privilege of being assured that you have a child who will be numbered among the redeemed.

 

††††††††† What more could any parent desire? Nothing can give a believing father and mother greater joy than to see their sons and daughters experience, possess and walk in the grace of God. Just before promising this old man that his son would be filled with the Holy Ghost, the angel of the Lord said to Zecharias, Hold on to your seat, old boy. Not only are you going to have a son, you are going to have a son who is chosen of God, ďAnd thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth!Ē

 

Illustrations: Gabe

††††††††† ††††††††† Eric

 

††††††††† Above all things, my dear friends, seek grace for your children. Beauty, brilliance, wealth, and honor, even health and happiness are utterly insignificant when compared to this. Our sons and daughters need Christ. They need the grace of God in Christ. Let us seek, earnestly seek, the grace of God in Christ for our children. Happy indeed is that father who is assured upon good grounds that his son or daughter isÖ

 

        Chosen of God!

        Redeemed by Christ!

        Born of the Spirit!

 

III. The third lesson is a lesson about true greatness. It is found in verse 15. TRUE GREATNESS IS GREATNESS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD. ĖďFor he shall be great in the sight of the Lord.Ē

 

A. Men always measure greatness by a very short stick.

 

††††††††† That which men call greatness is nothing. Politicians and presidents, doctors and lawyers, philosophers and statesmen, artists and authors, athletes and movie stars Ėall who are called and admired as great by little fools are utterly insignificant to the angels of God. Those who are great before men, they count nothing. Those who are great in the sight of God they count great. We will be wise to learn to measure greatness the way they measure it. They angels of God measure greatness by Godís measuring stick.

 

††††††††† Let us seek for ourselves and our children this true greatness, greatness before God, greatness in the world to come, greatness forever. What is this greatness in the sight of God? It isÖ

 

        The Greatness of Grace.

        The Greatness of Divine Approval.

        The Greatness of Faith.

        The Greatness of All Who Believe.

        The Greatness of Christ.

 

Matthew 11:11"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

 

IV. Look at verse 15 again, and learn something about the operations of God. GOD ALWAYS ACTS IN TOTAL SOVEREIGNTY; AND HIS SOVEREIGNTY DEFIES EXPLANATION.

 

Luke 1:15"For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."

 

††††††††† One of these days we are going to sure enough find out that God is bigger than we are. Every now and then, God the Holy Spirit throws a huge monkey wrench right into the middle of our theological works and just shatters all our neat theological boxes. Here, he tells us that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his motherís womb.

 

††††††††† Almost everyone presumes that to mean that John the Baptist was regenerated in his motherís womb. But that is not what the text says. Some use this as a basis for baptizing babies. Some use it as a proof text to show that God does not necessarily use the preaching of the gospel to save his elect.

 

††††††††† Letís be honest with the Scriptures. Donít ever grab a verse, or a statement, rip it out of its context, and make it mean whatever you want it to mean. We build our doctrine on the plain statements of Scripture, not on the whims of our wild imaginations.

 

††††††††† To be filled with the Holy Spirit simply means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, no more and no less (Eph. 5:18).

 

††††††††† When the Scriptures tell us that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his motherís womb, this is what it is teaching.

 

A. Like Jeremiah, he was sanctified, set apart, and ordained to be the prophet of the Highest, before he came out of his mother's womb.

 

Jeremiah 1:5"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

 

††††††††† The same thing was true of the apostle Paul.

 

Galatians 1:15-16"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:"

 

B. While still in his motherís womb, John under such an influence of the Spirit of God, as to leap in it for joy, at the salutation of Mary to his mother Elizabeth (Luke 1:41,44).

 

C. Like David, he was under the constant protection and care of Godís mercy, love, and grace, from his motherís womb

 

Psalms 22:9-10"But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly."

 

D. God the Holy Spirit gave him special gifts and grace qualifying him for the work for which he was chosen.

 

V. Finally, look at verses 16-17 and learn something about those men who are sent of God as his messengers to men. No Man is A greater Blessing To Men than Those Men who are sent from God as his messengers.

 

Luke 1:16-17"And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

 

††††††††† Here is an accurate, angelic, biblical description of the character, conduct, work, and usefulness of a gospel preacher.

 

A. He, as an instrument in the hands of God, turns the hearts of men.

 

        He turns the hearts of Israel, Godís elect.

        Turns them from ignorance to knowledge.

        From darkness to light.

        From superstition to revelation.

        From unbelief to faith.

        From sin to righteousness.

 

B. He goes before the Lord, walks before God in the Spirit and power of Elijah.

 

        Seeking Godís Message.

        Seeking Godís Grace.

        Seeking Godís Will.

        Seeking Godís Glory.

        Serving Godís Kingdom.

 

C. He makes ready a people for the Lord, prepares chosen, redeemed sinners to meet the Lord at his appearing.

 

D. He is a man filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

E.   He is a man sent from God!

 

Isaiah 52:7"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

 

††††††††† These are the men we need. These are the men God uses. Blessed are those people to whom God sends such men!

 

1.     By them God calls out his elect.

2.     By them Christ is uplifted and glorified.

3.     By them God leads his people.